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Judge Atwal won the August primary.


Judge G. Tony Atwal was appointed to the Ramsey County District Court by Governor Mark Dayton in 2016.  Judge Atwal will be on the ballot for election on November 6, 2018 (general).  

Since his appointment over two years ago, Judge Atwal has earned a reputation for integrity, fairness, respectfulness to all, and a thorough knowledge of Minnesota law.  Judge Atwal understands that every person brings into the courtroom their life experience and regardless of the case’s outcome, he believes they should know that their arguments were listened to and understood and the case was fairly and justly decided under the law.

Judge Atwal enjoyed a distinguished legal career as an attorney prior to his appointment.  He practiced in complex civil litigation involving consumer, employment, and mass tort lawsuits in federal courts.  Judge Atwal was licensed to practice law in the United States Supreme Court and multiple other federal courts across the United States.  Judge Atwal also briefed and argued over 120 appeals before the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. These appeals involved important questions of law under the Minnesota Constitution and included precedent-setting decisions that are controlling law for Minnesota.  

Since 2009, Judge Atwal has been an Adjunct Professor of Appellate Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.  In 2016, he was named Adjunct Professor of the Year. Judge Atwal has educated hundreds of law students and knows the importance of sharing his extensive knowledge of the law with the next generation of attorneys such that they can continue the tradition of excellence in practice in Minnesota.  Judge Atwal has also served as an educator to attorneys, presenting educational programs through Minnesota Continuing Legal Education and co-authoring the Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook: Appellate Review of Circumstantial Evidence, Criminal and Civil Law. Mentoring youth is very important to Judge Atwal and he regularly invites students to spend a day at the courthouse with him to learn about the law and judicial process.

Judge Atwal has long been part of the Ramsey County District Court.  From 2001 to 2002, he was the judicial law clerk to the Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, United States District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota, while she served as a Ramsey County District Court Judge.  Judge Atwal was also the judicial law clerk for the Honorable Gregg E. Johnson, Ramsey County District Court Judge, from 2002 to 2003. Through these judicial clerkships, Judge Atwal gained invaluable insight into the judicial decision-making process and how to effectively be a judge and serve the public good.  

Judge Atwal is a board member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society and a board member of the Ramsey County Indian Child Welfare Act Advisory Board.  He is also a committee member of Ramsey County’s Child Protection Steering Committee, the statewide Children’s Justice Initiative, and the Minnesota District Judges Association Jury Instruction Guide Committee.

In addition, Judge Atwal is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Ramsey County Bar Association, and the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association.  Judge Atwal is also a presiding judge for the annual Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans Stand Down, which provides assistance to veterans throughout Minnesota.

Judge Atwal has lived in Ramsey County since 1999.  His sister is an attorney in the Twin Cities and practices in the federal courts of the Eighth Circuit.  Judge Atwal’s other siblings and parents live in Michigan and Oregon.

In his free time, Judge Atwal is a sports enthusiast and especially enjoys college football, tennis, and soccer.  A weekend trek to a cabin and lake with family and friends, whether sun or rain, is also a favorite pastime for Judge Atwal.  


Judge Atwal graduated from William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law), earning his Juris Doctorate in 2003.  He graduated from Pacific University in 1996, earning his Bachelor of Science in Economics.  

Professional Legal Experience

Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Adjunct Professor of Appellate Law, 2009-Present
Instruct law students on Minnesota appellate court brief writing and oral argument.

Johnson Becker, PLLC
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Attorney, 2015-2016
Litigated complex mass tort and employment lawsuits in federal and state courts.

Nichols Kaster, PLLP
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attorney, 2013-2015
Litigated complex consumer and employment lawsuits in federal and state courts.   

Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Assistant Appellate Public Defender, 2004-2012
Briefed and argued over 120 appeals before the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Law Clerk, 2003

Ramsey County District Court
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Law Clerk for the Honorable Gregg E. Johnson, 2002-2003

Ramsey County District Court
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Law Clerk for the Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, 2001-2002

Office of the Ramsey County Public Defender
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Certified Student Attorney, 2000-2001

Selected Speaking Engagements and Publications

Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, Appellate Practice Institute
Moderator, A Fireside Chat with the Honorable James B. Loken of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

Minnesota Continuing Legal Education
Employment Law: Appeals for the Non-Specialist (co-presenter)

Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook Annual Seminar
Appellate Review of Circumstantial Evidence: Criminal and Civil

Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Collateral Consequences to Criminal Convictions: The Fair Credit Reporting Act

Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook
Appellate Review of Circumstantial Evidence: Criminal and Civil (co-author)